Blindness, cataracts, or disease? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-13-2011, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Blindness, cataracts, or disease?

Hello all, I have come across an interesting situation, where a friend of mine could longer care for their fish and asked if I could take them. I said I could, as my 40 gallon was empty at the time of asking. I had originally planned to get two senegal bichirs for the tank, but instead it now contains one bichir and the African Knife and Clown Loach they wanted me to take. They're both a little over two years old, I think.

Now to the point, I was observing the knife and noticed his eyes were very opaque, almost milky. I don't exactly know how well my friend's tank was cared for, but I read around and determined that it could possibly be blindness, cataracts, some disease, or ammonia burns. Though with my little experience with fish ailments and diseases, I was wondering if some of the more experienced fish keepers here could help me out in settling what my new knife has, especially if it's a disease for obvious reasons. I wish I had noticed it before putting him in the tank, but what's done is done.

Despite the apparent milkiness of the knife's eyes, he doesn't seem to have trouble seeing. He was very cautious when I put him in the tank after acclimation, and didn't really bump into any plants or structures in the tank. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get home, as I know they will be essential in diagnosing him. Any thoughts and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

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I am also an extreme hobbyist:
4 Cats - Magnus Bane, Mia, Dani, and Blue
Pokemon TCG Player
2 Northern Peeper Tree Frogs
Fish Keeper
4 African Claw-Toed Frogs
Computer Builder
1 California King Snake - Kitty
Video Game Enthusiast
1 Ferret - Bandit

Aquarium Inhabitants (across all my aquariums):
1 Glass Catfish
10 Glofish
1 gorgeous calico Butterfly Koi
1 Halfmoon Betta - Ifrit
1 Senegal Bichir
1 African Knife Fish
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-13-2011, 10:24 PM
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It's probably cloudy eye the main cause is water quality, I think it can be caused by other things. There are different treatments and some recommend no treatment just keeping your water clean. Do you know how often your friend changed his water?

Just to add if it were me I'd try to trade off the clown loach as he's not gonna very happy all alone in there. He would be much happier in a larger tank with a school of clown loach's.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-14-2011, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by k19smith View Post
It's probably cloudy eye the main cause is water quality, I think it can be caused by other things. There are different treatments and some recommend no treatment just keeping your water clean. Do you know how often your friend changed his water?

Just to add if it were me I'd try to trade off the clown loach as he's not gonna very happy all alone in there. He would be much happier in a larger tank with a school of clown loach's.
Like I said, I'm not exactly sure how well their tank was cared for, but since the knife does have something odd going about his eyes, they probably didn't change the water as often as they should have. I'm thinking maybe once or twice a month... poor guys..

As for the clown loach, I completely understand he should be with a few others of his kind, as well as be kept in a larger tank. The only reservation I have about giving him away is that, not only had my friend entrusted their care to me, I have no one to turn to that could provide a better tank. The only option I really have to consider is giving him to Petsmart or Pet Supplies Plus... and while I have better than average stores than some other stores belonging to those chains, he would just end up in a much smaller tank, possibly for a really long time.

My house is my own private zoo!
I am also an extreme hobbyist:
4 Cats - Magnus Bane, Mia, Dani, and Blue
Pokemon TCG Player
2 Northern Peeper Tree Frogs
Fish Keeper
4 African Claw-Toed Frogs
Computer Builder
1 California King Snake - Kitty
Video Game Enthusiast
1 Ferret - Bandit

Aquarium Inhabitants (across all my aquariums):
1 Glass Catfish
10 Glofish
1 gorgeous calico Butterfly Koi
1 Halfmoon Betta - Ifrit
1 Senegal Bichir
1 African Knife Fish
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-14-2011, 01:15 PM
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Maybe this is just the excuse you needed for a bigger tank, the knife is gonna get pretty big. If it were me I would just keep up with your water changes and see if that helps his eye before I tried meds.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-15-2011, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by k19smith View Post
Maybe this is just the excuse you needed for a bigger tank, the knife is gonna get pretty big. If it were me I would just keep up with your water changes and see if that helps his eye before I tried meds.
I have read that they can get up to a foot long, and most places I've found during research say that a 55 gallon should be sufficient for an adult. I know mine is a 40 gallon... do you think 15 gallons less is too much a difference?

I will do a 50% weekly water change tomorrow, hopefully he starts clearing up fairly quickly.

My house is my own private zoo!
I am also an extreme hobbyist:
4 Cats - Magnus Bane, Mia, Dani, and Blue
Pokemon TCG Player
2 Northern Peeper Tree Frogs
Fish Keeper
4 African Claw-Toed Frogs
Computer Builder
1 California King Snake - Kitty
Video Game Enthusiast
1 Ferret - Bandit

Aquarium Inhabitants (across all my aquariums):
1 Glass Catfish
10 Glofish
1 gorgeous calico Butterfly Koi
1 Halfmoon Betta - Ifrit
1 Senegal Bichir
1 African Knife Fish
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-15-2011, 10:28 AM
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From what I can see this fish can get up to 12 inches long. With a 55 gallon the width is 12" which will make it difficult for the fish to be able to turn around. I would say that the minimum size tank for this fish based on that would be at least a 75 gallon, but would probably do better in a larger tank.
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ammonia burns , blindness , cataracts , eyes

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